We’ve nearly made it through another year. I don’t know about you but I’m all right with saying goodbye to 2021, because it certainly had more twists and turns then I expected. Although I’m beyond thankful to still be here and don’t take for granted all the wins I had this year, I also hate that I experienced so much pain and loss. Not to mention that when the year began, I was so hopeful and had planned so many things to accomplish for the year. They weren’t necessarily New Year’s resolutions but rather a list of commitments to myself that may or may not have included things like lose my COVID-19 pounds, write a book, read more, etc. While I made some progress on these accomplishments, I feel like I blinked and now we’re already at the end of the year. Where did the time go? I question if we truly have the same 24 hours in a day because I felt like I did more, I was busier, had more meetings, had more stuff to do, and it just didn’t feel like I had enough time — enough time in the day, month or even year.
The reality is the time in the day didn’t change but everything else and everybody else consumed it. So, as I began to reflect over the year — I choose not to be disappointed in what I don’t think I accomplished, but rather focus my energy on the fact that you and I still have time! Whatever I set out in 2021 to do, God willing I still have time to get done. Now it may not happen in the remaining few days of this year, but I don’t have to disregard what I had planned just because 2022 is on the horizon. In fact, I’m claiming that 2022 is the year to do you! In order to make this happen, here’s a couple of things I hope to do.
For one, I’m going to quit waiting for permission! I’ve often found myself simplifying and downplaying the accomplishments I have made or the visions that I have for greater. I feel like I’m waiting for permission to execute the next best thing in my life when in reality I’m just holding myself back. I’m not necessarily waiting on the nod of approval from others, but rather waiting on myself to allow me to move forward. I find myself making excuses or creating delays and barriers that are unnecessary. If you’ve experienced this, allow me to remind both of us of the saying “ask for forgiveness later instead of permission first.” Let’s stop waiting for ourselves to give us permission to live and be greater — no more holding back.
Another thing I plan to do is to be intentional, not only with my plans but with my time. When I think of what I’ve typically thought I could accomplish in a day, I realize it was far too much. I over planned my day and then would be discouraged when I hadn’t accomplished enough on my to do list. The problem wasn’t what I hadn’t accomplished, it was thinking I was Superwoman and could get everything and anything done. I planned without intention. Also, it is clear that the day is not going to be extended more than 24 hours, so I need to make a concerted effort to carve out more time for me, myself and I. In the famous words of Maxine Waters — I’m reclaiming my time! I plan to start small but be consistent with it. Being intentional about prioritizing myself and my time will be critical to focusing on that greater that is coming for me!
Lastly, I plan to invite newness into my life. I realize that for many years of my life, my day and night patterns stay on repeat. Healing from childhood traumas for me has meant efforts to sustain routine, stability, and the norms of my life. Reducing the possibilities of outlier moments, unexpectedness, etc. is a means of control that is disguised as being structured, disciplined or organized. These characteristics are great, but they limit the opportunity for newness. I’m going to be more spontaneous, welcoming of adventure and creativity so that new experiences, new patterns, and new life finds its way to me.
While it is true that we don’t know the hour nor the day that we will leave this earthly place, I believe until that time has come, we must live our lives to the fullest. I’m encouraging myself while hopefully encouraging you that it is not to late to do just that. Whatever it is that you been envisioning for your life, for your year, for your day — know that indeed you still have time! As the clock winds down on 2021, I’m wishing you a Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa and that in the year 2022 you unapologetically do you!
Dr. Khalilah A. Shabazz shares wisdom, lessons and insights on personal, social and societal issues of today. Contact her at email@example.com.